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Toshiko Mori Architect: 10 Best Projects

Our Houses Monaco CH

Toshiko Mori Architect (TMA) is known for nearly four decades of innovative and influential work in a diverse body of projects that have received numerous design awards. Mori’s intelligent approach to ecologically sensitive siting strategies, historical context, and innovative use of materials reflects a creative integration of design and technology. Her designs demonstrate a thoughtful sensitivity to detail and involve extensive research into the site conditions and surrounding context. The work of TMA combines a strong conceptual and theoretical approach with a thorough study of programmatic needs and practical conditions to achieve a design that is both spatially compelling and pragmatically responsive.



Columbia County, NY, USA

Perched on a cliff in upstate New York, this house in Columbia County dramatizes the relationship between the building and the landscape in its interplay of two volumes. The glazed western facade of the lower volume opens to stunning views that extend fifty miles to the Hudson River, while the eastern portion nestles partially below the ground plane of the dense woodland. The views of the natural landscape are in turn juxtaposed with glimpses of contemporary art throughout the house. The siting of the house also takes advantage of prevailing winds, with operable windows strategically placed to promote cross-ventilation and minimize the use of cooling systems.


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Columbia County, NY, USA

“Treeline” is the second phase of a New York City-based art dealer’s compound in the Hudson Valley. The lot includes the dealer’s second residence, Cloudline, which was subsequently completed six years before. The new building functions as an exhibition space, as well as a secluded artists’ residency. The simple shape of the structure is reminiscent of the region’s rural housing typology; contrasting with the contemporary concept it houses.


House in Ghent
Ghent, NY, USA

This weekend house compound, perched on a rock outcropping overlooking the rolling hills of the Hudson River Valley in rural Ghent, NY, is a series of 4 separate pavilions. The concept of the project is to have a minimal footprint on the land, reducing the impact of a single larger house by absorbing smaller pavilions into the landscape. The concept derives from the paradigm of Japanese garden pavilions in Kyoto such as Katsura, where functions are separated and connections are made through walks in the landscape, immersed in changing views and seasonal experiences.


House in Maine IV
North Haven, ME, USA

House on Maine Coast IV is a summer home designed to capitalize on the east-facing views of North Haven’s Penobscot Bay. The one-bedroom home’s living and sleeping quarters face the water, while the cooking and dining spaces are tucked away, snug within the compound. An existing barn was converted into a garage and guest house.


House in Suffolk County
Suffolk County, NY, USA

House in Suffolk County is a ground-up beach house that overlooks the Peconic River, off the Long Island shore. The clients, a New York City-based couple, approached the architect, expressing an interest in building a vacation getaway home; to be used from April to October. This home was one of the first residential projects to be approved in the area post-Sandy and that conforms to new regulations for greater resistance against the dangers of rising tides and flooding. The house is raised above the regulation flood height, and the overall structure is robust in order to resist future hurricanes. The asymmetrical volume with its varied slope is meant to minimize the home’s impact on the neighbors’ view corridor while the steep roof profile adds an interesting spatial experience to a small house. The roof and the siding are all wood shingles—a traditional material—which is given a new yet subtle identity when wrapped around the entire volume.


House in Bedford
Bedford, NY, USA

House in Bedford is a 5,300 sq ft weekend retreat that overlooks the vast landscape of New York’s Westchester County. It is nestled within seven acres of land, overlooking a valley and forestry. Oriented on a stepped axis to optimize views, the flat-lined, geometric glass house immerses the occupant in the landscape. The house is an open plan without subdividing walls. The continuous perimeter circulation promotes sweeping views to be fully exposed from within. Major program spaces of the home are divided by the functional cores of the building, creating spaces that flow from east to west as reverse enfilade corridors. These spaces can be closed by concealed doors. A skylight hovers over staircases and open riser; allowing for a sense of airiness to exude throughout, as well as provide views of the landscape.  The stepped cantilevers on a rock outcropping balance the house on the dramatic site.  The house’s materiality is natural limestone and white oak at the interior. The pale colors of these materials complement the daylight and surrounding natural environment. The glass and its reflections also provide a layer of camouflage as they reflect and reveal the landscape.


House in Connecticut II
New Canaan, CT, USA

TMA was tasked with renovating and building an addition to this 1951 house that was built by Marcel Breuer for himself and his family. The project included renovation of the original house, a new addition, and renovation of the poolhouse added in the 1970s. The Breuer house contains the programs of living, dining, family room, and kitchen, and the new addition houses the master bedroom suite and two bedrooms, with utility space (garage and mudroom) in the lower level.  The new addition is joined to the Breuer residence by a connecting stair enclosed in a glass of varying transparency.


House on Maine Coast
Camden, ME, USA

House on Maine Coast is situated on a narrow, sloping site overlooking the Camden Harbor and a small offshore island.  The house is divided into three intersecting volumes, each of which has a unique relationship to the ground and surrounding landscape.  A 25m lap pool, embedded longitudinally into the hillside, connects the upper grounded guest house volume to the lower floating main house volume. The mostly solid guest house screens the property from the street, while the pool and the main house below are defined by an expansive ribbon of glass that frames a lighthouse on the offshore island and the ocean’s horizon beyond.


House in Taghkanic
Taghkanic, NY, USA

Built on a 120-acre property of undisturbed forest, the House on the Taghkanic is suspended between two large rock outcroppings, overlooking the Hudson Valley.  The house was conceived as perched upon these two rocks at the edge of the cliff, anchoring a bridge with an elevated walkway connecting the two promontories.  The bridge is an integral part of the structure of the house, forming a horizontal datum with the public functions below and the private bedrooms above.  Because the house connects the paths found naturally on the site, it can be seen as an extension of the existing topographical character of the site.


House in Austerlitz
Austerlitz, NY, USA

House in Austerlitz, a 4000 square foot single-family home is located on a 74-acre site in upstate New York.  The intersecting two main volumes of the house are situated to maximize panoramic views of the surrounding Hudson Valley landscape and the Catskill Mountains while simultaneously providing diverse exterior spaces that are protected from the natural elements.  The lower public volume opens up to the forest beyond with a floor-to-ceiling wall of glazing.  The kitchen, dining, and living rooms flow seamlessly within an open plan on the lower level.  The upper, private volume cantilevers over the lower volume, providing shade for an exterior play area below, and pulls back towards the south to create an expansive private deck above.  The spaces within the house continue out to the various exterior spaces, creating a strong continuity between inside and outside. The house is clad in a charred cedar, a traditional Japanese cladding material that is highly durable.


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